As relationships go, user experience is almost always unique to each person. Partners often have different motives, and when a friendship ends, the takeaways are often just as biased.
What you may describe as goals in a relationship, another person might see as the worst thing to ever happen to them or vice-versa. All those things you can deal with are honestly a nightmare for many couples.
Pros and cons lists help bring things more clearly into perspective whenever we have a difficult decision to make. Thankfully, even a concept as subjective as a relationship has a side to it that different couples relate to or, at the very least, can agree on.
So, if you wonder if getting boo’d up is a boon or a bane, depending on which day, you’ll be able to decide if your answer is along the lines of the following listed below.
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Of all the things to be excited about in a relationship, the feeling of never having to be alone again has to be the top two. And I don’t just mean someone to hang out with all the time, although that’s something, too. Rather knowing deep down that you have someone who is genuinely invested in you.
From fun to grief, a relationship allows you to share it all with another person—your person. Because your choices affect your partner, you may find yourself being more empathetic and readily making compromises for the team.
Unfortunately, as nice as it is to have someone in your corner, it can also be a legitimate drawback. Now you find yourself doing everything in multiples of two, including worrying. It’s tough enough keeping oneself in line at times, imagine tacking on the weight of someone else’s wellbeing.
Since no one is perfect, being in a relationship with someone else means you have to learn to deal with their flaws on top of your own. Being part of a team means a standing responsibility to keep up with one another. Sharing comes naturally in love, of course, but even for an open book, partnership obligations can make you miss your freedom sometimes.
As mentioned above, sharing is the foundation upon which relationships are built, even though we go into them for different reasons. For many, garnering emotional capital is the goal. Some are a bit more material-focused, others physical. But realistically, it’s a mix of everything.
As things get serious, couples who spend a lot of time together get to tackle everyday life problems as they arise. Whether it’s chores, pooling resources (or deciding on serious stuff like whether to go out or order in) they do it as a unit. Granted, it may take some time to get to that level, but the point stands that shared responsibility is a benefit people enjoy as part of a couple.
You may get to split the rent when you need the help but being in a relationship means paying for it another way. Yes, your burden is no longer just your own, but therein lies a whole disadvantage of its own – their involvement means they are always there. Physically, and mentally, it’s all the same in this context.
Not all couples get to see each other as often as they’d like, but even in that case, you still carry your partner with you wherever you go. You factor them into your decisions and can’t help but worry about them— all of which you may be able to live with on most days. However, there’ll also be days when you’ll miss being single because of it.
If there was a poll of why people go into relationships, I’m pretty sure filling our intimacy needs would easily top the list. Now, it can be argued that you can have great sex without having to commit all the way to someone, but one, at what cost? Second, what about the aspects that only the comforts of a meaningful relationship can unlock?
Unlike sexual chemistry which you can spark with anyone, intimacy is the connectedness you build with someone over time across a wide range of experiences. The fun times, the fights, the wild and deep stuff/moments people in a relationship usually share each play a part in building the coveted connection.
And the best part, advancing into a relationship means you want some if not all the same things. So odds are your partner is as down for the ride as you are.
On the flip side, familiarity has its drawbacks. Humans crave variety, and as such, we can get tired of even our favorite things if constantly exposed to them. Same food, same flavor every damn time. At some point, you start to take it as a matter of survival, a need rather than a want.
“Things” in this case can be sex, but also the mere presence of the other person if only some of the time. When you think of it that way, a long-term relationship risks your very appetite for your partner if you can’t power through repetitiveness. Not all couples can, and sadly it’s not just the thrill that fades.
Another advantage of setting up shop with someone special is that you can breathe and be yourself around them. You are as comfortable talking to your person as you are with them in the other aspects.
Your sex life, for one, can be at its best because, instead of the usual awkwardness, you are confident in your knowledge of your partner. This is thanks in no small parts, to trial and error. You are not easily embarrassed and are thus more relaxed and open to getting it on as the mood dictates rather than always playing it safe.
You can laugh at and with yourselves like friends, share comfortable silences, bicker like siblings and still make wild, passionate love without fussing over looks or worrying about them losing interest.
Sadly, there is such a thing as overdoing it when it comes to the comfort a relationship affords. When you are not too bothered about losing something, there’s hardly any motivation to actually work on keeping it around. You let too much slide, sleep in and eat more than you should and skip one or ten workouts because the person you’re doing it for thinks you are perfect anyway.
You become complacent and lazy. The quality of your relationship deteriorates with reduced effort, which can be okay for a time but eventually, it catches up with you.
Another con associated with settling into the familiarity of a relationship is the monotony that becomes your life. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, much of forever-ever-after is just getting through one day after the other.
As time goes on, things become predictable and routine. Before you know it, you feel old and stuck with someone who feels less and less like your partner and more like a roommate. It’s not realistic to make life a party all the time, and something has to fill the gap in between.
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There’s a reason people say things like “Where do I start from” when faced with the decision to end a relationship. Dating can be exhausting if we are keeping it a buck. There may be someone for everyone in the scene quite alright, but finding them isn’t always as straightforward.
From first date jitters to vetting every potential date for red flags and the risk of pitching your tent with the wrong one after everything, it’s just a lot of work. Now, that may bear its excitement, but if you’ve had your fill of taking chances, a relationship means you don’t have to swipe anymore to meet those needs.
On the other hand, if the anxiety, uncertainty, and potential negative consequences of dating are what rocks your boat, a relationship may not necessarily serve you. Variety may appeal to all of our tastes, but usually not on the same level.
Some people may be more than happy trading in the thrill of dating multiple people for the chance to form something deep and meaningful with one person. For others, it can be a bit more challenging, especially when surrounded by temptation. Unfortunately, attractive people don’t stop coming around just because you are taken.
They say love makes life worth living, and relationships help nurture love. It’s not just your emotional state that stands to gain by having your own person, it’s also your mental and physical health. Ideally, you get to talk about everything with your partner from your past to a future together.
You have someone to aspire with you, listen to you vent about your day, and share your wins, losses, as well as your responsibilities. These may not seem like plenty individually, but they sweeten the deal that is living by that much as a collective.
Then again, relationship pros and cons don’t just exist in a vacuum. Being in one doesn’t automatically confer its benefits on you otherwise, everyone would be happy. Its positive impact on health (stress relief and lower depression), for instance, is directly proportional to the quality of the relationship.
I know this sounds cliché, but you really have better odds of staying single than in an unhappy relationship. Too much power to give the wrong person over you, given the reverse implications are just as profound.
A true romantic will probably find a way to bring all the relationship pros back to love, but I like to emphasize it more as an opportunity. Not all relationships start with both partners head over heels. And certainly, not all those who feel these feelings end up making something meaningful out of it.
Regardless of how it starts, though, entering into a relationship is two different people agreeing to witness each other’s lives. It’s a chance (and choice) to invest in something/someone for those who may not be lucky enough to have grown up surrounded by such – a sense of belonging.
Like any investment, a relationship has its risks. From meeting people to getting to know them, figuring out new feelings, and finally making things official, each step towards forming a relationship opens one up to being hurt by the other person.
The deeper you get in it with someone, the more vulnerable you are around them, and thus, the more likely you are to feel lost and displaced after a bad run. The time wasted and shattered hopes will only make the heartbreak worse.
Having a boyfriend or girlfriend means you no longer have to go without a date to social events. In reality, this may come down to factors like whether you and your partner share common interests, short-distance, and schedule, but you get the point.
But then again, it takes a certain degree of comfort in a relationship to get here and may thus apply more accurately to long-term couples than new ones. Assuming this kind of commitment before having the talk or meeting each other’s friends and family, for example, may be reaching a little.
Know thyself. If you tend to get carried away and sucked into your relationships like the best of us, being in one stands to make you miss out on golden solo moments.
Being demotivated to explore life independently when you are in a committed relationship is pretty common, yet it is nothing to be proud of. It’s important to keep doing things you enjoy without your current partner, no matter how bubbling your relationship is.
He’s not the only person out there. It’s how you maintain clarity and not end up filling the wrong holes with the right thing.
Your boo’d-up friend may not admit it, but they’ve probably used their spouse/partner as an excuse to get out of plans before, as you probably have too. Sometimes, it’s just easier to throw your significant other under the bus than to explain the real reason you can’t make it.
A good example is clubbing before and after saying yes. If loving up made you lose your nightlife mojo but aren’t ready to admit that to your friends, you can just say your partner isn’t cool with it, and they will understand. Generally, people expect you to respect your significant other’s wishes, even when they don’t like it.
Getting into a relationship means being introduced to a whole new world. You start in a bubble with your lover, and when you manage to step out of it, you find yourself doing more couple stuff than solo. Your friends don’t get to see enough of you anymore, and when you meet up, you can’t relate as well to the single ones.
Between meeting your friends and their partners, you start to form connections that are more pertinent to your current lifestyle than you nurture older ones. Since all types of relationships require some level of maintenance, the abandoned ones naturally fizzle out. Unfortunately, you may not even realize you’re not paying attention enough till it’s too late.
Something about someone you deem pretty special thinking highly enough of you to want to be your partner does wonders for self-esteem. They are not just always there to support you but also remind you every chance they get how incredibly cool you are. You may be skeptical at first, but if you get a real one, their actions should make a believer out of you.
Of course, this is also one of those pros you only get in relationships where you feel seen, respected, and validated. The idea that you are also doing the same thing for the person you love doesn’t hurt either.
Unfortunately, toxic relationships are just as influential but in all the ways that ring negative. It’s part of why it’s encouraged not to tie your sense of self to someone other than yourself because no matter how close anyone is to perfection, it’s human to disappoint.
Even if the relationship isn’t unhealthy, breakups happen, and when someone who promised never to leave does, it takes its toll. It’s also worth noting that relationships tend to fail gradually, and losing self-confidence is a sign that should not be ignored.
Another benefit a relationship offers is the privilege to rise above petty games and the usual sources of anxiety in the early dating stages. You may not have it all figured out yet, but you can focus on other goals knowing your love life is secure and stable.
You can go through life knowing you have a solid emotional support system and any other kind you may require. Suddenly, the future you know you deserve doesn’t feel as impossible anymore as it did in the past. Many people would kill to have that.
Conversely, if you live for the adventure, stability may not be much of a pro from where you are standing. Sure, it’s nice to feel safe, but that also means less room for spontaneity because involving someone else in your plans regularly requires planning around their schedule.
Staying together in a relationship also means gradually getting to know one another until there’s little to no mystery left. It’s true that what comes after this phase is where the real stuff begins, but still, it can feel like a drag not being able to do some things anymore.
In addition to a sense of belonging, being part of a healthy, committed couple can also make one feel like they’re finally doing something right with their life. When the foundation and where things are going are no longer an issue, one can immerse fully into the relationship and its fruits. Compromises and sacrifices are made without blinking because they feel worth it.
It helps to have a sense of direction yourself and set expectations before committing to someone so things start out with everyone on the same page.
Finally, if one isn’t careful, a relationship that indulges all your desires can stunt your progress. Less motivation to work (hard) and follow your passion because you’d be getting fulfillment points elsewhere. Laziness can also make one miss out on needed friendships if enabled.
Without the right mix of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and discipline, it’s all too easy to lose sight of important things. Sure, there’s a place for rubbing off on one another, but each party still has to have a growth mindset to have a fair chance at flourishing together as a couple and personally.
As for pros, a relationship can be a boon in times of loneliness. It gives a sense of belonging and purpose. You know someone somewhere is worried about you and would notice if something happened to you. It offers a real shot at intimacy and can be an avenue for all parties involved to grow.
On the other hand, it can also result in distraction, and co-dependency and can actually stunt one’s progress if care is not taken.
Putting together pros and cons list can help you see things more clearly than when it’s all jumbled in your head, so no, it’s not at all bad. It’s an efficient way to weigh the challenges against the benefits of a situation before making a decision. However, it can make things feel overintellectualized, which feels less organic compared to a mix of emotions and logic.
Different things count as important in each relationship depending on what the primary individuals involved are looking to get out of it. Communication is a well-known essential for most people, as is trust, respect, support, and the need for healthy boundaries.
However, values, shared interests, emotional vulnerability, a healthy sense of humor, growth, and being willing to compromise for the good of the relationship also rank high on people’s lists.
A bad relationship is one in which one or both partners aren’t growing in any way. Where partners feel stifled and stuck on good days, and the happy moments are far and in-between. It’s relationships in which there’s a pattern of toxicity in their dynamic and an obvious gap in communication that nothing is being done to fix.
Some other signs include resentment, disrespect, dishonesty, insecurity, incessant fighting, lack of trust, and all the usual negative suspects in a fallout.
If you are wondering how to tell if you want to be someone, it probably means you shouldn’t be with them. All the details may not be in place right away, but at the very least, you should know in your gut how you feel about them.
If you are looking for signs to point to prove what you’re feeling is right, you should notice that they make you feel giddy inside. They are the only people you tell your secrets to, you worry about them and can’t wait to share more of your life with them than you already do. You two can disagree, but it doesn’t make you unkind to each other.
Basically, you act like lovers and best friends.
So there you have it. I hope you found this relatable. Remember, drawing a relationship pro/con list is a legitimate way to arrive at an informed decision, if a little less impersonal. It can certainly save you a lot of trouble when trying to compare and contrast before making a choice, plus it makes it easier for outsiders to chime in if need be.
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